Don’t Toss The Beet Leaves; Eat Them!

beets As I headed out for my workout this morning, I found my bounty from Farm Fresh To You at my front door. Always exciting! I usually go online to make my selections but I overlooked the email reminder to “customize my box” due my a crazy 4 day schedule at the Braveheart triathlon training camp. Curiosity instilled my brain as to the contents of the box…

I discovered the beets right away. I began to think of ways to incorporate the beets into my recipes over the next few days. I know many of you are not fond of beets; I used to feel the same way. Then I started trying them in various forms and discovered that they are awesome.

For you athletes out there, they provide a great source of energy and have been noted as the legal form of doping! Training Peaks Blog shared this information: “Beets contain a large amount of inorganic nitrates. These compounds are the precursor to a very important signalling molecule that our body needs to function- Nitric Oxide2. NO is made naturally within our bodies but we can dramatically increase its availability by eating nitrate rich food. Among other roles, NO acts as a vasodilator in functioning skeletal muscle, increasing the size of blood vessels to allow more oxygen flow3.”

Let’s talk about the beet leaves:

Did you know that the beet leaves are incredibly nutritious?

“The leaves are richer in antioxidants and other phytonutrients than the roots, according to Jo Robinson, author of Eating on the Wild Side” as noted by Dr. Mercola. They are mild in flavor too.

What to do with those leaves:

  • Put them in your smoothies
  • Use them as a wrap
  • Use them as fresh greens in a salad or on your plate topped with your favorite “clean” fish or chicken, or perhaps a grilled portobello.
  • Lightly steam them, add pinch of sea salt
  • Add them to your juices…

What to do with those beets:

  • Grate them and add to salads
  • Grate them and marinate with juice of lemon, mint leaves or one drop of peppermint oil, ginger and olive oil or grape seed oil
  • Add to juices- awesome juiced!
  • Roast them and drizzle a mixture of honey, juice of an orange, organic dijon mustard and/or balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with roasted walnuts as a side or main dish

Explore! And don’t forget that they will likely turn your pee red. Don’t worry you are fine!

Check out Dr. Mercola’s article here for more details. And learn more about why you want to eat the leaves (and the beets!)